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Alcoholism is a chronic and progressive disease. Factors that contribute to a diagnosis of alcoholism include problems controlling drinking, preoccupation with alcohol, continued use of alcohol despite health-related problems, increased consumption to achieve the same effect, and withdrawal symptoms when alcohol use is decreased quickly or stopped. Precursors to alcoholism, otherwise known as problem drinking, can include binge drinking. Binge drinking occurs when a male consumes five or more drinks in a row and when a female drinks four or more drinks in a row.

Nearly one-third of Americans are considered at risk for alcohol dependence due to their alcohol consumption. Alcohol abuse and dependence contribute to more than 100,000 deaths from disease and injury annually. Persons with alcoholism typically are unable to limit how ...

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